Disney has announced sweeping changes to its Disney+ service. New subscription tiers including a cheaper, ad-supported option are coming to the platform considered to be one of the best streaming services around.
Already launched in the US, the Standard with Ads option will be introduced to the UK, along with France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden and Denmark from 1 November 2023.
In addition, those who currently enjoy 4K HDR (Dolby Vision) streaming with Dolby Atmos sound will have to pay more, as a new Premium tier is also being introduced. A Standard option will offer the service without adverts, but will be locked to a maximum of Full HD (1080p) and 5.1 surround sound.
New Disney Plus subscription prices
UK pricing for the new tiers starts at £4.99 per month for ad-supported membership. This enables access to the entire library of content at Full HD / 5.1, but only allows two devices to stream shows and films at the same time, and there's no ability to download content for offline viewing.
The Standard tier will cost the same as a current Disney+ subscription – £7.99 per month or £79.90 annually. As well as the video and audio limitations, Standard subscribers will be restricted to two simultaneous streams. You will be able to download shows and movies though.
The Premium tier is essentially what Disney+ subscribers get currently – four simultaneous streams at up to 4K HDR with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support, no adverts, and offline viewing. However, the price is going up to £10.99 per month, or £109.90 annually.
Current users will automatically be switched to the Premium plan from 1 November 2023 (with the price rise if you pay monthly). However, those who pay monthly can defer the price hike until next year by purchasing a one-year subscription at £79.90 by the end of October.
"The introduction of the ad-supported plan marks the next evolution for Disney+ in the UK, as we provide greater choice for our customers and our world-class advertising partners alike," said the European president of The Walt Disney Company, Jan Koeppen.
"Disney+ continues to set itself apart in today's streaming landscape, offering unrivalled value, genre-defining TV series and blockbuster movies set within a simple and seamless experience."
It is also being reported that, like Netflix, the service is clamping down on password sharing, with CEO Bob Iger stating that there are plans to "roll out tactics" in 2024.
Pricing for the Standard Disney+ plan is also rising in the US – to $13.99.